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  • Writer's pictureKevin Roeckl

Nadia portrait in progress 1

Starting a new portrait, for Katherine Belzowski, of her Grand Champion, Top Twenty Doberman “Nadia”.

GCHS CH Belz Catch My Breath WAC

When she first contacted me in 2020,

Katherine sent this beautiful free-stacked photo of Nadia and said she wanted to commission a portrait of it. I added her to my portrait waiting list. A while later she sent the photo of family friend Julianna, a Junior Handler who handled Nadia to many wins, and asked me to also use that photo. Nadia is holding her dish, something she loves to do.

When it was finally Katherine’s turn

and I was starting to focus on a layout for the portrait, she sent Nadia’s Top Twenty photo from the 2020 Nationals, and wanted me to include that too. At first I thought Katherine just wanted the stacked Nadia from her photo. But she wants Nadia’s handler Hernan in the portrait too. “Hernan and Julianna were a very important part of Nadia’s show career”, she said. And of course we must include Nadia’s big purple and gold Top 20 ribbon somewhere in the portrait.

3 reference photos of Grand Champion, Top Twenty Doberman

I think Remmy’s portrait started a trend. Remmy's portrait had 6 depictions of Remmy (counting his reflection in the river), including 2 head studies.

Next came a portrait for Karen of her 3 Search-and Rescue dogs. That one also had 6 figures: 3 head studies of the 3 dogs, a full body of one dog, and Karen hugging another.

For Remmy’s layout, it was not hard to figure out to put 4 depictions in the four corners, with the important “Mona Lisa Remmy” in the center, and his beloved Credit River behind. Designing Karen’s layout was a bit more challenging: the best way to arrange 3 head studies and then choose from among Karen’s many SAR photos and fit them into a background scene of southern Oregon.

The layout for Nadia's portrait is even more challenging. The same dog 3 times (two stacked pictures of her) with two different humans, photos that aren’t related to eachother.

Reference photos of Doberman for portrait

How will I fit these together into a harmonious whole? And a Top 20 ribbon in there too.

Stay tuned!

Nadia's Top Twenty show photo is by Tom Weigand - The Winning Image.

Free-stacked photo by Romina Gandsas.

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